Waterless washing machines may be making their way to commercial laundry businesses in the Western world. British technology group, Xeros, announced its plan to raise 40 million pounds ($60.8 million) to continue expansion of its waterless washing machine group.
Xeros uses a polymer bead system that cuts down on water, energy and chemical use when washing or manufacturing clothing. The system was developed after University of Leeds chemist Stephen Burkinshaw found that specific types of plastics can absorb fabric stains. The beads get mixed with laundry in the wash and their molecular structure allows them to absorb stains, cutting down on detergents.
Clothing is then rinsed with a specially designed system that cuts the amount of water needed to about 80 percent less than what’s used in conventional washing machines.
This technology is especially important today as increasingly eco-conscious brands look for ways to conserve water, save on energy costs and battle water scarcity.
According to the Guardian, global investment banking firm Jeffries is set to invest 40 million pounds of shares, while investment management company Invesco –which already owns 26.9% of Xeros’ shares –will put up enough to maintain its current holding. Additionally, IP Group plans to put in 4.7 million pounds ($) and fund manager Neil Woodford will maintain an 8 percent stake.
Xeros will use the incoming funds to support the growth of its commercial laundry business and drive its leather processing and domestic laundry applications closer to commercialization.